Bless the souls who were on Southwest Flight 154 from Austin to Denver yesterday. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a flight with so many people under the age of 5 in all my life. And most of those seemed to be 2 and under.
Lily was sitting on the floor between my feet as people were boarding the plane. The flight attendants were announcing that it was a full flight, and since Lily is under 2, we got a free flight for her as a lap child. So, I knew that somebody (sucker) was going to have to sit in the other seat in our row. Fortunately, a nice, grandmotherly type asked if that seat was available.
As we lifted off, wails ensued from all areas of the aircraft. Not my kids. They peered out the window, both of them saying “Wow.”
It was a beautiful moment. A 3-second moment.
After about 45 minutes of Lily squirming around and eating snacks and reading books and disturbing the people in the rows in front of us and behind us, I decided it was time for a nap. Now, Lily is a great napper in normal situations. But, I knew that a nap aboard the Boeing was going to be a fight. I was determined to win. I had to hold her down against me for about 5 minutes while she furiously kicked the seat in front of us and screamed at the very top of her lungs. But after those 5 minutes, she was asleep and slept the rest of the flight.
Dalton was great. He spent almost the entire flight coloring dinosaur pages I had printed for him. As we were making the descent, the captain said it was going to be bumpy, so I told Dalton to go ahead and put his crayons up.
As we hit the turbulence, at each and every bump and dip, Dalton giggled and said, “That tickles my penis.” Every time. For the entire 20-minute descent.
The nice grandmotherly type sitting next to us looked at me very questioningly, and I laughed.
Dalton looked at her and said, “It tickles my penis EVERY TIME! Heee heee heee!”
It’s the necessary evil that precedes any trip. I kind of enjoyed packing up for a trip when I was single because it usually meant I’d toss a swimsuit, a pair of jeans, a t-shirt, a few toiletries, and flip-flops into a bag and call it good.
Now, though, packing is a week-long event of planning, packing, repacking, organizing, list-checking, removing weird items that get put into the suitcases without me knowing about it, doing laundry, packing some more, and so on. Almost every trip I’ve ever taken since I had kids involved packing until we were going out the door, sometimes packing as we rode in the car to the airport, and of course repacking everything that gets taken out in the security line at the airport.
I really hate packing now. There’s so much to remember. The things you forget that could turn a trip into a maddening event instead of a relaxing vacation.
But, I love the anticipation that I see in my son when he sees the suitcases lined up on one of our couches. I love the look in his eye when I give him a shirt to put in the suitcase.
I even had to laugh this afternoon when I went to put a few items inside a suitcase and it was full of plush animals.